Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 July 2008

By SpaceRef Editor
July 8, 2008
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 8 July 2008
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All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Crew Sleep Cycle: Wake/sleep cycle remains right-shifted by 3.5 hrs (5:30am – 9:00pm EDT).

Onboard activities today are mostly focused on the suited exercise/dry-run preparatory to Thursday’s (7/10) Orlan spacewalk (EVA-20A).

FE-2 Chamitoff started his day with the week-long SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment, using the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Greg wears a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew’s discretionary “job jar” task list. This is Week 1 of 3 for the FE-2.]

After yesterday’s completion of all Orlan-M suit preparations, dry-run activities began today at ~9:45am EDT with CDR Volkov tearing down and removing the air ducts between the Service Module Transfer Compartment (SM PkhO) and DC1 Docking Compartment/airlock (skipping ventilation fan V3) to make room for the subsequent suited exercise.

At the same time, FE-1 Kononenko worked on configuring the communications systems in the DC1 and Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft for the exercise. [The suited run requires wireless Tranzit-B suit radio telemetry on both semisets and temporary deactivation of the Russian VHF channel 1 (Very High Frequency, Russian: UKV1, for ultra-shortwave) to avoid interference from extraneous radio stations to the Orlans while over Russian ground stations (RGS). All EVA preps are monitored by the ground via audio. Tranzit-B TM is to be turned off later today at ~3:30pm EDT.]

After another functionality and leak checking of the Orlan-Ms, their equipment and their interface units (BSS) in the DC1 & PkhO, the crew began donning EVA gear at ~11:20am, including putting on personal gear bags, biomed harness, thermal underwear, LCG (liquid cooling garment), low-noise headset, gloves, etc.

After another checkout of comm hookups & biomedical parameter telemetry via the BSS Orlan interface system for vital signs and equipment monitoring, suiting up then culminated in ingress in the Orlans (~12:30pm) through their “backdoors” and sealing off of the backpacks.

Next in line are functionality checkouts of the suits and their BSS controls (e.g., temperature control handling, water cooling system ops, preliminary Orlan & BSS leak checks, preliminary dimensional suit fit checks at reduced suit pressure of 0.4at/5.9 psi, and about an hour of testing/training of suited mobility and translation inside the DC1, beginning at ~1:00pm. [These exercises include translation to all DC1 work stations with mated fluid umbilical, verification of Orlan fit, checkout of onboard cooling system operation, assessment of how the interior DC1 config impacts operations with various gear and accessories such as the POV (EVA support panel) and BSS, moving the BRT (Body Restraint Tether) with a CLB (Crew Lock Bag) and securing the BRT on a handrail, retrieving the Kodak 760 camera from the KPU tool carrier and stowing it temporarily on the OTA swing arm, plus some typical EVA-20A tasks such as working with the Soyuz truss/node mockup to remove one of the two pyrobolts in the lock, etc.]

FE-2 Chamitoff is to participate in part of the exercise by checking out his comm links.

Egress from the Orlans is timelined for around 2:00pm, to be followed by a one hour lunch break.

Afterwards, Volkov & Kononenko will restore communications settings in DC1 & Soyuz to nominal ops and perform post-training cleanup activities, including air duct assembly. Later tonight, after the Orlans are confirmed to be dry, they will be re-equipped with fresh consumables/replaceable elements for the spacewalk on Thursday.

During the suited exercise in the closed-off DC1, Gregory Chamitoff conducted the periodic inspection of all US segment (USOS), ESA & JAXA hatch seals (Node-1 Forward, Aft & Starboard, Airlock, Lab Aft & Forward, Node-2 Aft, Starboard & Port, Columbus, Kibo JPM Starboard & Zenith, Kibo JLP Nadir) in support of ACS (Atmospheric Control System) maintenance, using a special vacuum cleaner and other tools (last time done: 4/16).

Making preparations for possible uncrewed operation, Chamitoff first worked in JAXA’s Kibo modules JPM & JLP by checking out lighting fixtures and verifying that all GLA (General Luminaire Assembly) switches are set to ON/full bright and that the SRCA (System on/off Remote Control Assembly) is also turned on.

In the JPM, to support ground commanding from Japan’s Tsukuba Flight Control Center, the FE-2 will also get science payloads ready for operation by connecting their video cables to the IPU (Image Processing Unit) and bus cables to the ISPR UIP (International Standard Payload Rack Utility Interface Panel).

Afterwards, Greg will connect the ISPR-3 (International Standard Payload Rack 3) RYUTAI via umbilical and verify that power is turned on for all active JEM racks (control switch JPM A2 on ISPR-A2, JPM1A6 on JEMRMS). [RYUTAI(“fluid”) is a Japanese multipurpose experiment/payload rack system to support the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility), SCOF (Solution Crystallization Observation Facility), PCRF (Protein Crystallization Research Facility) and the IPU (Image Processing Unit) by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water and other items needed to operate science experiments in micro-G.]

In preparation for possible remote-controlled operation, the FE-2 also deactivates the JPM SLT (System Laptop).

Moving over to ESA’s Columbus module, Gregory will be checking out the vacuum part of the ECLSS (Environment Control & Life Support System), making sure that filter plugs are properly installed on the VAMRV (Vacuum Manual Repressurization Valve) on the forward side of the Columbus Starboard Deck Cone panel, and on the VEMRV (Venting Manual Repressurization Valve) on the aft side of the Starboard Deck Cone panel).

Chamitoff’s work schedule also includes the periodic offloading of the Lab CCAA (Common Cabin Air Assembly) dehumidifier’s condensate tank, filling a CWC (Contingency Water Container, #1054) with the collected water slated for processing. No samples are required. [Estimated offload time before reaching the tank’s neutral point (leaving ~6 kg in the tank): ~30 min. Condensate collection continues to be performed by the CCAA while the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner is off, awaiting its overdue Khladon (Freon-218) refill. SKV-1 has been nonfunctional for a long time.]

Oleg Kononenko is scheduled to handle the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The FE-2 is to perform the standard calibration on the new CSA-O2 (Compound Specific Analyzer-Oxygen) units #1043 & #1059 delivered on 1J.

The routine maintenance of the SOZh system (ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables, was added to Gregory’s discretionary “job jar” task list for today.

A second discretionary item on his task list is to gather and temporarily stow US equipment that should be transferred tomorrow to the RS (Russian Segment) for the EVA-20A & EVA-20 spacewalks.

At ~2:05pm, Chamitoff is scheduled for another regular PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

With Sergey & Oleg getting plenty of physical exercise today in form of the strenuous suited dry-run, the FE-2 worked out alone on the regular 2.5-hr. physical exercise protocol (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the TVIS treadmill and RED resistive exercise device. Afterwards, Greg transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Uncrewed Station Ops Update: For the Orlan spacewalks on 7/10 & 7/15 Moscow has proposed not to configure RS hatches for station decrewing. This will keep hatches open between FGB & PMA-1, and SM & DC1, and hatch closed inside the SM between RO/Working Compartment & PkhO/Transfer Compartment). In case of a DC1 leak during airlock repress, the Soyuz TMA-12, with all three crewmembers, would relocate from the DC1 to the FGB nadir port, a brief 25-min trip (6:56pm-6:31pm EDT on 7/11). While ensuring crew safety and station integrity, this minimizes necessary crewtime which is already in severe shortage due to the EVA-20A date. The necessary waiver of the applicable Flight Rule (15-158) for the three hatches was discussed in detail on 7/7 by the IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) and approved. There is no impact on status of KVD pressure equalization valves (PEV). [Note: A second docking attempt at the SM aft end, the current ATV location, is not considered due to insufficient Soyuz consumables.]

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Hurricane Bertha (DYNAMIC EVENT: This tropical storm was just upgraded to the Atlantic season’s first hurricane. It is tracking W-NWward through open waters and by the time of this ISS pass, at mid-morning, should be a strong Category 2 storm with 90kt winds. As the station approached from the NW, Chamitoff was to look left of track for a small, symmetric storm with a distinct eye and try for oblique views of the entire storm system showing its general cloud structure), Red River Basin, TX (the Red River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River that also forms the border between the states of Texas and Oklahoma. The basin area north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area is primarily an agricultural region that is changing under increasing urban development. As ISS approached this area from the NW near mid-morning, Greg was to look for the W-to-E meandering flow of the river and map the area west of the man-made Lake Texoma), and Jarvis Island, Equatorial Pacific (this unusual, trapezoid-shaped island is located just south of the equator about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. It is low-lying, uninhabited, has very little vegetation and is just about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide. CEO is assisting international efforts to document and monitor the Earth’s coral reef systems. On this late morning pass, looking just left of track for this target, then using the long lens settings for detailed views of the fringing coral reefs, especially those on the eastern side).

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov (as of 3/1/08, this database contained 757,605 views of the Earth from space, with 314,000 from the ISS alone).

ISS Orbit (as of this morning, 7:51am EDT [= epoch]):
Mean altitude — 344.6 km
Apogee height — 350.8 km
Perigee height — 338.5 km
Period — 91.43 min.
Inclination (to Equator) — 51.64 deg
Eccentricity — 0.0009099
Solar Beta Angle — 28.8 deg (magnitude increasing)
Orbits per 24-hr. day — 15.75
Mean altitude loss in the last 24 hours — 58 m
Revolutions since FGB/Zarya launch (Nov. 98) — 55188

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible.):
07/10/08 — Russian EVA-20A (2:21pm)
07/15/08 — Russian EVA-20 (1:14pm)
07/23/08 — ATV1 reboost (tent.)
09/05/08 — ATV1 undocking, from SM aft port (loiter until ~9/25 for nighttime reentry/observation)
09/09/08 — Progress M-64/29P undocking, from FGB nadir (may move to 8/30)
09/10/08 — Progress M-65/30P launch
09/12/08 — Progress M-65/30P docking (SM aft port)
10/01/08 — NASA 50 Years
10/08/08 — STS-125/Atlantis Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission 4 (SM4)
10/11/08 — Progress M-65/30P undocking (from SM aft port)
10/12/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S launch
10/14/08 — Soyuz TMA-13/17S docking (FGB nadir port)
10/23/08 — Soyuz TMA-12/16S undocking (DC1 nadir)
11/10/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 launch – MPLM Leonardo, LMC
11/12/08 — STS-126/Endeavour/ULF2 docking
11/20/08 — ISS 10 Years
11/26/08 — Progress M-66/31P launch
11/28/08 — Progress M-66/31P docking
02/10/09 — Progress M-67/32P launch
02/12/09 — Progress M-67/32P docking
02/12/09 — STS-119/Discovery/15A launch – S6 truss segment
03/25/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S launch
05/15/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD
07/30/09 — STS-128/Atlantis/17A – MPLM(P), last crew rotation
05/27/09 — Six-person crew on ISS (following Soyuz 19S docking, May ’09)
10/15/09 — STS-129/Discovery/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/10/09 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
02/11/10 — STS-131/Atlantis/19A – MPLM(P)
04/08/10 — STS-132/Discovery/ ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM1
05/31/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC3, ELC4 (contingency).

SpaceRef staff editor.